Here’s an article suggesting that teenagers are turning away from Facebook. I’ve said it before: you can trace the success of social networks, from FriendsReunited and MySpace, Bebo, through Facebook and Twitter, based on chat. Teenagers follow the chat. If all their friends are chatting on Twitter, they join Twitter. If all their friends are on Snapchat, they use that, or WhatsApp. Chat is where it’s at.
It is worth noting that, with so many of these apps getting into games, stickers and now music sharing, it is becoming harder to define them as messaging services. “I think there is some misunderstanding here in how we categorise these apps,” says Pavel Durov, who founded Russia’s version of Facebook, VK.com, and recently launched a mobile messaging service called Telegram. “They are social networks. You have a social graph there; a newsfeed; you have profile pages. Many things that are related to social networks by definition.” Social chat apps is another way to define them, says Gartner mobile analyst Brian Blau. “People are sometimes using three or four of these apps.”